More information about GRASP’s autism assessment process

Why we’re providing this service:

Over the years, from around the globe, we have received numerous information requests for low-cost autism assessments. Additionally, we have heard from many women, gender non-conforming, and non-binary/genderqueer/trans folx of the barrier of finding an assessor who is trained in gender presentation differences in autism. We have unfortunately also heard about the discrimination adults have faced because of ageism, systemic racism, xenophobia, being houseless, and an overall misunderstanding of Autistic adults.

Our aim is to remove these upsetting experiences and create a neurodivergent-affirming autism assessment process. So, after input from Autistic individuals, we are delighted to collaborate with qualified and trained Autistic and Neurodivergent providers to offer affordable, respectful autism diagnostic services to Autistics nationally and internationally through secure tele-health sessions.

Research associated with this service:

To accompany this new service, we launched a corresponding Autism Assessment Satisfaction Questionnaire, to formally research the assessment experiences of Autistic adults and how it affected their quality of life. The purpose of this questionnaire is to ask for Autistic adults’ opinions about their personal experiences with non-partnered GRASP providers, the assessment process and questions.

The goal is to utilize their insights to build a better, neuro-affirming autism assessment process and to provide training to clinicians that is informed by these experiences. To participate in the survey please click on the title above or here, https://forms.gle/QrDfhSfX3Muw9iEt6

Furthermore, we are conducting coinciding research with the Autistic adults who go through GRASP’s Autism Assessment service. We are requesting, but not requiring, Autistic adults who participate in GRASP’s autism assessment services to complete an exit questionnaire. Our goal is to continue to hone the process and provide better insights for our future trainings of autism assessment providers and clinicians.

How the process works:

To ensure the process is considerate of one’s neurodivergent needs, the assessment is scheduled in 2-4 sessions including but not limited to: initial consultation, diagnostic testing, follow-up discussion of the report findings, and a coaching session. During your initial consultation session the provider will go over in detail what to expect during the process and address any questions or concerns you may have.

Breaks are automatically built into the testing day with the aim of making the process more comfortable. Each session is expected to last between 90 to 120 minutes. If you have questions after a session or about a test, please be sure to email us as soon as possible. During the final session, the provider will discuss the test findings and resulting diagnoses.

Different test package options

$600- For those only needing validation of Autistic self-identification and/or workplace/school accommodations, we are offering a shorter assessment process at $600, with half due at the time of scheduling to hold one’s spot. This process includes one testing and interview session, self-paced neuropsychological testing, and a follow-up session to discuss testing outcomes and results with workplace/school accommodation and healthcare letters provided; there is no pre-assessment required.  

$1200– For those needing a neuropsychological assessment and full report with detailed information about the testing and outcomes, we’re offering a medium length assessment process at $1200, with half due at the time of scheduling. This process includes a pre-assessment to ensure we’re a good fit for one’s needs, and neuropsychological testing for autism and ADHD or OCD over three sessions; a full report with workplace/school accommodation and healthcare letters is provided. 

$1800– For those needing a neuropsychological assessment and full report with detailed information about the testing and outcomes, we’re also offering a longer assessment process at a $1800, with half due at the time of scheduling. This process includes a pre-assessment to ensure we’re a good fit for one’s needs, testing for autism, ADHD, OCD, and PTSD, and four sessions including a post assessment coaching session; a full report with workplace/school accommodation and healthcare letters is provided. 

The cost for the process is broken into two payments with half due during scheduling and the remainder due after your first session. A non-refundable deposit is required to hold your assessment spot. We are no longer offering financial assistance.

Have questions or concerns?

Please scroll to past this section for answers to frequently asked questions (FAQS), confidentiality and disclosure concerns, participating in GRASP’s post-assessment research, other diagnoses, what ages we assess, helping out a partner, friend, or child, etc.

If you cannot find an answer to your questions, want to know when we’re scheduling sessions, or you have an unaddressed concern, please email us at info@grasp.org. Please allow us to address any questions, concerns, or financial assistance requests before completing the next step.

The next step:

Reach out to us via our contact us page to let us know which package you’re interested in completing. Please be sure to add info@grasp.org to your email addresses to be sure to receive our response. If you need accessibility support with any of these steps, please reach out to us through our contact page or email us at info@grasp.org.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is required for financial assistance?
*We are no longer accepting financial assistance applications for the foreseeable future as we schedule those waiting on the waitlist.*
In most instances proof of any income as shown through your most recent tax return, bank statements, and if receive social security disability, unemployment, or EBT/SNAP then we will need a letter of determination or proof of payments (bank statements or paystubs are acceptable). Additionally, if you have significant savings that may also be used to factor into our decision. If you do not file taxes or are ineligible for state or federal support services, then we can discuss using a letter from a friend or a relative explaining your financial situation.

If you are requesting financial assistance from another country, not including Canada, then we can discuss different ways to show your financial assistance eligibility. While we use secure email servers, we suggest everyone censor sensitive information like you social security/insurance number, bank account numbers, and your birthday.

We determine financial assistance eligibility based on the poverty level in your state/province and your personal circumstances, which may not be reflected in your financial documents. The total amount one pays can only be determined on a case-by-case basis. We make every effort to identify an amount that you feel comfortable paying, however, the minimum cost for an assessment is $275. We are only able to offer two to three no-cost assessments per year on a case-by-case basis with extenuating circumstances.

As of right now, our waitlist for financial assistance is currently 6-7 years long. While we are working to shorten the wait time, unless we receive a sizable donation to assist with these services, the wait will continue to be long as need is high. If you are interested in being assessed and can afford to pay, then we suggest trying to save and make the payments to be seen sooner.

Can I contact you on behalf of another adult (18+) who is Autistic and needs an autism assessment?
We are firm believers in the rights of Autistic adults to express their self-determination and, when needed, utilize supported decision making. If you are offering assistance to: your child who is age 18+, a spouse/significant other, a relative, or a friend, please be sure you have their consent to contact us on their behalf.

They will need to participate in a preliminary email exchange before accessing services, so please be sure to cc them on all emails to us. If they are not cc’ed, then a phone or Zoom call (without your presence) may be required to ensure they are consenting to this service. If they do not consent to participate, then we will deny your request for an assessment.

Can I use my health insurance?
We are currently unable to accept health insurance, and while you may use health savings account (HSA) funds we are unable to process that donation payment. If you choose to use HSA funds, we suggest getting a letter of need from your primary care doctor to document the use of the funds.

Are there additional fees?
After your letter or report has been received, the following fees with be assessed:
-Future requests for school or workplace accommodation letters or HR form completion, $75
-Rushed requests for future workplace accommodation letters or HR form completion, $250
-Hard copies of report, $25/report including ground shipping costs
-Family coaching session, $150/h
-Workplace coaching session, $150/h

Is this an official diagnosis and what is included in the $600 package?
Yes, our Autistic and Neurodivergent assessment team provides the diagnosis and a letter of their findings. The letter contains the diagnostic codes of your diagnoses, a one page list of workplace or school accommodations, and a tax donation letter. Letters may be written in your chosen or legal name. A full report may be generated within 1 year of your initial scheduled session for an additional $600.

Is this an official diagnosis and what is included in the ($1200 and $1800) report?
Yes, our Autistic and Neurodivergent team provides the diagnosis and a report of their findings. The report contains one’s psycho-social history, all test results, diagnostic codes, community referrals and recommendations, a one page list of workplace or school accommodations, and a tax donation letter. Reports may be written in your chosen or legal name.

Additionally, we make every effort to make sure the assessment and report fit your needs through the pre-assessment, however, it is ultimately up to the person being assessed to determine if this assessment and report will fit their needs.

Also, the provider’s findings in the report may be amended within reason. However, if one requests extensive report restructuring or edits, a provider may decline to do so and/or an additional fee may be required depending on the amount of time the revisions require.
Finally, we reserve the right, at any point in this process to stop working with you if we deem your actions toward us as harassing, menacing, or abusive.

Who makes up your assessment team and what’s their experience?
Our team consists of a licensed medical doctor, mental health counselors, a licensed social worker, APA registered psychological associates, and a licensed school psychologist. Most are either Autistic or neurodivergent, and all have years of working closely with Autistic teens and adults, including women, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and transgender folx.

Your assessment is conducted with one of the providers and may be reviewed by the team to make sure there is consensus regarding your diagnosis. All providers sign confidentiality agreements and only have access to your information through our secure servers or over Zoom, which is HIPAA compliant video software.

What is your HIPAA/HITECH/Ominbus policy?
We make every effort to keep your contact, medical, and diagnosis information confidential and private by using secure email and information servers, and limiting the number of people who access the information. We will not share your contact, medical, and diagnosis information without your written and, if applicable, verbal permission. If we do have a security breach or incident we will notify you as soon as possible. If you would like your digital information removed once your assessment is completed, please send us an email making the request. We delete all of your digital information, except for contact information, one year after your assessment. We retain a secure paper copy of your assessment file unless you indicate otherwise.

Does anyone else know about or can access my diagnosis?
You are in control of disclosing your diagnosis. We will never disclose your diagnosis without written and verbal confirmation from you that you want your diagnosis shared. No outside doctors, insurance companies, agencies, organizations, or people will know you are diagnosed unless you decide to share it with them.

Can this diagnosis be used in the United States or Canada for social security disability, state or province based services, and workplace, or school accommodations?
For federal disability and state disability services, most states or provinces require a psychologist licensed in one’s state to conduct an assessment and provide a report. We recognize the cost of community-based autism assessments are only sometimes covered by health insurance and therefore carry a high out-of-pocket expense. We are working to expand our network of providers to be able to offer this. At this time, we recommend finding someone in your state, province, or country, and would be happy to assist in locating one.

For workplace accommodations, this assessment and letter are standard. However, we highly suggest reaching out to one’s Human Resources department for the specifics of what they require. For school accommodations, we highly suggest reaching out to the school’s Disability Office and asking what the requirements are for accommodations. As always, feel free to contact us to discuss your specific needs. We make every effort to follow letter and report guidelines for workplace and school accommodations, however, we do not guarantee that this letter and/or report may be appropriate in every circumstance.

Can this diagnosis be used in other countries to access services and resources?
It greatly depends on your country’s disability resources and requirements for accessing services. Contact us to discuss your location and specific needs, and we will help search for information in your country.

Do I have to participate in the research studies GRASP is conducting?
No, participation is completely voluntary. However, do know, we are compensating people for their time and are grateful for your support.

Do you provide additional assessments for ADHD, OCD, PTSD, or learning disabilities?
Yes, we offer additional testing for ADHD, OCD, and PTSD. The ADHD and OCD tests are $175 each, $325 for both. The PTSD test is $300. We may add more assessment tests, such as for learning disabilities, as there is need.

How will the assessment sessions go and will my family members/former caregiver(s) need to be involved?
You will need a laptop, desktop computer, or mobile phone with a secure internet connection in a quiet space. We will meet over Zoom, which is a secure and HIPAA compliant platform. Zoom is free to use and utilizes video and audio. Your webcam and microphone will need to be enabled for the sessions, however non-speaking clients may communicate by solely typing or using AAC.

Within the $600 package there are two sessions; the first session is used to gather your psychosocial history and conduct an IQ test. Additional testing is sent home for you to complete on at your own pace and must be returned at least 72 hours before your final session. Within the $1200 package there are three sessions; the first and second sessions are used to gather your psychosocial history and conduct testing, additional testing is sent home for you to complete on at your own pace and must be returned at least 72 hours before your second session. The final session offers you an in-depth discussion of the report and findings, along with community referrals and recommendations.

Within the $1800 package there are four sessions; the first and second sessions are used to gather your psychosocial history and conduct testing, additional testing is sent home for you to complete on at your own pace and must be returned at least 72 hours before your second session. The third session offers you an in-depth discussion of the report and findings, along with community referrals and recommendations. The final fourth session offers you a follow-up coaching session to address any questions or concerns and is customized to your needs.

Most sessions with the assessment provider last from 60-120 minutes. Once begun, the assessment process is completed within 5-6 weeks, with one receiving their letter or report and a discussion of the provider’s findings in the final session.

Per family or caregiver involvement, we designed the pre-assessment and assessment process to rely on self-report. In rare occasions when one doesn’t have access to school or medical records, is unable to recall stories from their youth (as it relates to autism), or does not know if they had developmental delays, the provider may ask if you have a family member or caregiver who can provide additional information.

What ages do you assess?
Usually ages 18 years and older. At this time, we are offering assessments to minors on a case-by-case basis until 2023.

Are deposits to hold my session spot refundable?
Deposits are non-refundable, tax deductible donations (tax donation letters are provided) and are required as these session spots are in high demand. Deposits are due at the time of scheduling. If we do not hear from you, after 48 hours, then we reserve the right to cancel your session with no contact from you. If you contact us within 48 hours of scheduling and indicate that you’re unable to provide the deposit, we will work with you to the best of our abilities, but cannot guarantee that we will be able to hold your spot.

What if I need to reschedule my session?
If for some reason you are unable to keep your scheduled session time, we will make every attempt to reschedule it at a time which works for you and the assessment provider. If you do not attend your scheduled session without contacting us, your deposit will be forfeit, however, you may request a tax donation letter acknowledging your contribution.